The final month of the 2019 season in Class 4A Region 4 promises to be a sprint to the finish for playoff positioning.
In order to participate in that, however, Childersburg needed a region win Thursday.
“Nothing else (Friday night) or next week would’ve mattered if we didn’t take care of business (Thursday),” Childersburg coach Jonathan Beverly said.
Beverly’s squad handled that business at John Cox Stadium, notching a 44-22 victory over Elmore County on Thursday night.
The win is the first region victory for the Tigers (3-4, 1-3) and keeps them alive in the playoff conversation with games against Lincoln and Leeds still to come.
“We didn’t make the playoffs last year, but we’re looking to change that,” senior lineman Isaac McMillan said afterwards.
The Tigers rode big plays for most of the game, scoring in three plays on their first possession, then recovering an onside kick to set up another TD two plays later.
Leading 22-14 at the half, Childersburg exploded again to start the third quarter, again scoring the first two times it touched the ball. The second of those was a one-play drive, as junior Xzavion Garrett took off on a 63-yard run. Just like that, Childersburg led 38-14.
Garrett finished with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
“Tonight, I felt like we had 11 guys that came together and were focused on putting points on the board,” Beverly said.
Elmore County (1-6, 0-5) spent much of the night on offense as its wing-T controlled the ball for large parts of the game. The Panthers finished with 192 yards rushing but couldn’t slow down the Tigers, who didn’t punt.
“(Childersburg is) a good football team,” Elmore County coach Jordan Cantrell said. “They had a lot to do with that.”
Childersburg quarterback Cameron Thrash led the Tigers on Thursday night, accounting for 244 total yards and two touchdowns. His final touchdown pass came when junior Lamarr Duncan snared a tipped pass out of the air and ran 45 yards for a score.
Tailback Terry Thomas scored the first two touchdowns for the Tigers, with runs of 34 and 4 yards on the first two possessions of the game. Thomas finished with 62 yards.
Elmore County’s Nicholas Boothe carried the Panthers — and several Tigers, on a number of occasions — with 98 yards and two touchdowns from the fullback position.
Childersburg hits the road for a region showdown with county foe Lincoln next Friday. Elmore County returns home to face Dallas County in a non-region game the same night.